Be Not Ignorant of Satan’s Devices…
For so long, Satan has gotten the upper hand of me. He’s defeated me in so many ways in which I was not even aware that there was a battle. The bible tells us not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. So that tells us TWO things: 1. Satan has scheme/plots/plans/devices/strategies under his belt. 2. These devices can be unknown/secretive/clandestine/covert.
Just think in the natural world. When a team is playing basketball or football, they have a play book. This book is to be 100% confidential as far as the other team is concerned. The other team should not know the plans of the opposing team. The plans are supposed to be kept secret so that the team can ultimately DEFEAT the competitor. The other team is to be IGNORANT of the schemes in the other team’s playbook. They can know that the play book exists because I believe every professional team has a playbook, but it is the job of the coach to make sure that the play book does not fall into the wrong hands.
The same goes with covert operations in a war. The enemy is not to know what the other country has under its sleeve as far as attacks are concerned. That is a rule in war.
Well that’s how it goes with Satan, but let’s give him more credit than that. His tricks are FAR superior than the schemes and plays of sports teams and armies. Remember, Satan has been studying human nature since the very beginning. I’m talking about the FIRST TWO HUMANS WHO EVER WALKED THE FACE OF THE EARTH were deceived by Satan in his FIRST attempt! He was good at what he did then, and who are kidding, Satan can only have gotten better at it with time. Some speculate that it’s about 7,000 years later since Adam and Eve were around. Seven millennia and billions of people later will give you a lot of time to practice!
I thank God for the bible. The bible records many of Satan’s devices. If you look through the Old and New Testaments, you can see records of how Satan brought people down. Be not ignorant of His devices. KNOW the enemy. Learn his ways. You should be able to see him coming from a mile away. The older I get in the faith, the more I spot him further away. It used to be that I couldn’t see Satan at work until the damage was already done. But God and the Holy Spirit are making it so that I am PREVENTATIVE against his attacks by knowing which situations Satan works best in and by knowing how he operates. We already know that Satan works through our fleshly lusts and desires, but let’s look at some more unforeseen ways that you would not likely suspect. Satan already knows that seasoned Saints already know to avoid alcohol, drugs, parties, secular music, sex without one’s husband and wife, sexual images, profanity, etc. He knows most Christians can’t be outsmarted by those obvious temptations. So he works in other ways to bring down those in the church. I pray that you all are blessed by this note.
D I V I S I O N
Reading the bible has shown me that God loves the number ONE. He likes when we work as one even though we have many “body parts” and many gifts and ministries. Romans 12:4-5 talks of there being ONE body of Christ. Romans 15:6 talks of Christians glorifying God with ONE mind and ONE mouth. 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 and 1 Corinthians 3:3 talk of how there should be no division and that we should be of ONE and the same baptism, “thing”, mind, and judgment. 1 Corinthians 10:17 talks of us being ONE body and ONE bread. 1 Corinthians 12’s chapter talks of how we are ONE body. 2 Corinthians 13:11 talks of us being of ONE mind. Galatians 3:28 say that we are ONE. Ephesians 4:4 talks of ONE faith and ONE baptism. Philippians 1:27 speaks of us having ONE spirit and ONE mind. Philippians 2:2 talks of us being of ONE accord and ONE mind. Colossians 3:15 talks of being of ONE body. I Peter 3:8 tells us to be of ONE mind. God clearly LOVES when we operate as ONE!
All the aforementioned bible verses prove that God wants us thinking and operating as ONE. But for some reason there are at least 33,000 Christian denominations. How does ONE spirit, ONE mind, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE mouth, ONE accord, and ONE body end up in at LEAST 33,000 denominations? Do you think that GOD has anything to do with that high number of division? Absolutely not. Where division is, you can know that Satan is at work. All the talk God gives us of ONE in the New Testaments helps us to know that all these divisions are one of Satan’s devices. When unbelievers hear that Christians disagree in at least 33,000 ways with regards to Christian doctrine, worship, theology, soteriology, and methodology, it makes them mock us. They can’t figure how we all read the same bible that has the same truths and yet can’t agree on the ONE thing God meant in the bible. One of Satan’s devices is division. I’m sure you’ve heard of “divide and conquer”. Well that’s one way in which Satan works. He knows he is POWERLESS against Christ’s ONE huge Christian body. But when it comes to many (33,000?) smaller bodies, he can work well in that. And he has.
W R O N G A G R E E M E N T S
Satan isn’t as powerful as we think. He can’t really do anything to us unless we ALLOW him too. He has to first get us to AGREE with him before he can wreak havoc in our lives. And do we not agree with him every chance he gives us to? He can have an evil spirit whisper in your ear that you’re gay, and without even thinking, you’ll agree with the evil spirit thinking that it’s your own mind telling you something that it’s true. And guess what? You won’t act on something that you don’t agree with. For example, I won’t murder someone unless I first reach an agreement in my mind that it would be a good idea to do so.
Remember in the wilderness after Jesus had a 40 day fast in Luke 4:3-13? Satan tried to give Jesus an idea. And if Jesus was like us and agreed with Satan, he would have acted on the temptation. But because Jesus has nothing in common with evil, he of course disagreed with Satan. Jesus was not ignorant of Satan’s devices. So what happened? Jesus rejected Satan’s suggestions and the bible says that Satan departed for a SEASON! Imagine that! Imagine a season in which Satan does not try to tempt you to sin! If you learn his devices well enough, you can possibly be free of Satan for a season! Many of us agree with doctors’ bad reports and say that because our parents and grandparents had a certain disease that we too must eventually get this or that disease. We agree with our haters’ opinions of us and say that we will not succeed in life. We agree with the 50% divorce statistic and say it’s only a matter of time before our marriages fail. And in many cases, it’s only after we AGREE with the enemy that chaos ensues. Stop making wrong agreements with Satan. It’s one of his devices! Look at what happened when Adam and Eve made a wrong agreement with Satan instead of with God about a particular tree:
WHAT GOD SAID: Genesis 2:17 – But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
WHAT SATAN SAID: Genesis 3:4 – And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall N O T surely die:
O F F E N S E
My pastor and first lady blessed me SO with this topic! I thank God for it even today. They taught and preached on it for several weeks. Offense is one of Satan’s most successful devices. Satan can work most effectively in an offended heart. If you are easily offended, I can accurately assume that you have much mess going on in your life between you and your family, friends, coworkers, church members, and spouse. I bet Satan used offense to ruin your relationships. Maybe your husband said that your chicken needed a little more seasoning. Maybe your coworker made you look bad in front of a boss by telling her a mistake you made. Maybe your mother showed favoritism to your brother over you. Maybe your best friend chose someone else as her maid-of-honor.
And maybe this all happened 20 years ago and you STILL are harboring resentment and bitterness about it. Satan likes people like you. If you can hold a grudge, Satan can use you. And he WILL use you. And I can bet your bottom dollar that he IS using you. Satan always works in an atmosphere of unforgiveness. Forgiveness is what God majors on, and so you know that what God loves is what Satan hates. Forgive quickly and thoroughly and watch Satan flee from all of your relationships. He can’t work well in a relationship that is flourishing with forgiveness! The thing about unforgiveness is that you can’t pray for someone you hate, you can’t love someone you hate, you can’t evangelize or preach to someone you hate. So when you are offended by and unforgiving of someone, it’s one of the ways Satan prevents you from being used of God to lead someone to Christ. If Satan can convince you to be offended, he has convinced you not to minister to someone. And so that enacts part TWO of his device. You may be the ONE person God was going to use to lead this person to Christ; but since you now are not speaking to the person and blocked them from your Facebook and Twitter, they may never hear or experience the love of God. You may be the only “bible this person will ever read”.
Proverbs 17:9 – Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
Proverbs 19:11 – Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
I G N O R A N C E/P A R A N O I A/I N S E C U R I T Y/S U S P I C I O N
The reason I put these four words together because they are related because of the fact that all four lack or may lack one thing: TRUTH/REALITY. If you are ignorant of something, it means that you are unaware of the truth of its existence – unaware that it is REAL. To be paranoid is to believe that things that are not real are real. To believe that lies are truth. Paranoid people for example may think that the CIA is out to kill them or that some woman at her job is hating on her and trying to get her fired when that is so far from the truth; suspicion is related because it can make you paranoid. And insecurity is when someone believes that aspects of themselves are causing them to be inferior to others or disliked by others when that is not true. An insecure person may think that she must look bad if she walks in a room and a group of people start laughing. Or an insecure girlfriend may think that everytime her boyfriend’s phone rings that it’s his ex-girlfriend. Or an insecure boyfriend may think that everytime his girlfriend doesn’t answer the phone that she’s with another man. Insecurity has to do with imagining lies as being the truth.
Satan can destroy the trust in a Christian marriage by convincing one spouse that the other is being unfaithful. He can ruin the trusting relationship between a pastor and his congregation by making the pastor believe that some of his members are thinking of leaving his church because they dislike his preaching all of sudden. Satan can cause trouble between a coworker and a manager because at the next meeting, the boss may say there is a new policy on absentees a week after you called in sick on Monday and Friday. And so you get paranoid that the boss is talking about you. Assumptions come from paranoia, ignorance, and insecurity. And these assumptions are not based on truth and so they can cause a lot of trouble in relationships.
Satan is the father of all lies. Wherever a lie is, please and just know that it has started with Papa Satan. He knows that truth sets free. He knows that lies bound and cause grief. So he tells lies. He starts lies. He suggests things that lead to lies. Don’t operate off of lies. Operate based off of truth. And truth is not one and the same with facts. A doctor’s fact that people with your form of cancer are doomed within 6 months. But God’s truth about that same kind of cancer can be that you can be healed in a day with a full recovery. So Satan can sometimes defeat you with FACTS that are not God’s truths. Where lies are being spread, know that Satan is at work with a demonic scheme to destroy. He knows that if the truth got out about everything, then he would be powerless. He gets his powers from YOUR belief in HIS lies. When you stop believing his false reality/lies/attempts to make you paranoid and insecure, he has lost in his tactic against you in this regard.
Romans 10:3 – For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 2:11 - Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
1 Samuel 18:6-9 - And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward.
P R I D E
Last but not least, Satan defeats those who love God by using one of his most effective tools/weapons of PRIDE. I cannot stress the importance of humility in the life of the believer. Remember how that even the “best” Jews of Jesus’ time were defeated and damned because they had too much pride to admit their inefficiencies and weaknesses when it came to pleasing God according to His holy standard. They did not receive Jesus because He required that they humble themselves and admit that they were sinners who needed a Savior. Satan can work more easily in a prideful heart than even an offended heart.
An example in how Satan works in this way is when he convinces you to apply pride to your repentance. You can have done a sin and yet be too prideful to repent of it. I knew a guy who was very lustful in his heart and deeds. And when I told him about it, he denied ever being lustful towards his girlfriend even though he and his girlfriend were close to having sex on several occasions. He had a title in the church, and so I suppose he felt that being a minister was incompatible with being horny. So instead of humbling himself and admitting that fault, he instead denied ever wanting to have premarital sex. And because he never humbled himself enough to repent of this sin, he of course never repented on this sin. Therefore, he never received forgiveness for this sin if he has not repented of it.
Pride will cause you to deny any wrongdoing, faults, or weaknesses. And when you don’t admit to having a problem, you never confess the problem. And you never receive forgiveness for something you can’t agree to have done. Satan used pride to keep that young man from receiving God’s forgiveness. I don’t know if he ever repented of it, but if he did not, Satan did a work in his life. God does not allow for any pride in the lives of Saints. He wants total humility from us. Humility is not just a cute word to refer to yourself as. Having humility means that you ask for forgiveness everytime you sin. Having humility means that you never think that you are too holy to make a mistake. Having humility shows me that you ALWAYS run to God for much-needed forgiveness. So conversely, to lack humility means that you rarely if ever ask for forgiveness because you can’t agree that you make mistakes.
It’s so sad to see preachers who are so tough on their congregation be exposed for the wildest sins. I’m talking about being caught having 15 year affairs with a prophetess in the church. I’m talking about molesting five BOYS in his congregation. I’m talking about pastors who kill their wives, chop them up, store them in the freezer for years all so that they can have an incestuous relationship with their daughter. I’m talking about embezzling THOUSANDS of dollars from members “tithes & offerings”. I’ve heard all these TRUE stories and more! It’s crazy how the most prideful, self-righteous people have the most unbelievably secret sins. That’s because pride is one of the best ways to cover one’s sin. If you allow pride in your life, already know that Satan has some BIG, disastrous plans for you and those closely associated with you. Pride destroys. The bible says that by pride, people bring about their own downfall.
1 Timothy 3:6 – Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
I Peter 5:5 – …be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
D I S T R A C T I O N S
Remember the story about the Mary and Martha sisters? One sister was so busy cleaning and being a good hostess that she was missing out on a spiritual blessing from the Messiah. She even tried to get the Messiah to cause her sister to miss out on her blessing! She confused busyness for Jesus for being doing the work of the Lord. Satan can have people so busy singing in a choir, ushering the congregation to their seats, vacuuming after church services, and playing the drums that they forget to minister to others spiritually. This is not to make light of ushers and choir members, but sometimes, God just wants you to evangelize to your family member. But you’re so busy at church that the people who are “sick” are not getting a “physician”, but the people who are “well” are.
I encountered this in my blogging frenzy and my church attendance craving. I would spend countless hours writing spiritual notes for my blog. And so I was ministering in that regard because many people were blessed by the notes. But if someone wrote me a private message asking for prayer, I thought I was too busy with ministry to minister! I would get annoyed and say to myself, “Why don’t she just pray for herself?! I can’t be her relationship with God!” And I would be so busy at times going to church that I wouldn’t even stop to be a loving Christian witness to those in my every day life like friends, family members, and coworkers. I was so busy LOOKING churchy that I had no time to BE the Christian I should have been for God. Satan will have you so busy that you will think that you do not have time to do the things God wants you to do.
There are such thing as church distractions because many of the things we do in church today have nothing to do with the church we read about in the New Testament. The New Testament church and Jesus were out and about ministering to the hurting and lost. Church today seems very into ministering to only those who are saved IN the church’s four walls. Many church folk would rather hold up a hurtful pro-life sign outside of an abortion clinic instead of kindly approaching the expectant mother, praying for her, asking her why she feels the need to do this, and offering her options other than abortion. Many Christians will hold up hateful signs at gay rallies and parades instead of pulling a homosexual to the side, praying for them, and doing spiritual deliverance from the spirit of perversion. Be not ignorant of even this most surprising device.
These are just six of MANY of his devices. I chose these six because they are the six in which Satan won many battles against me. I thank God for informing me of this in order that I might gain the victory over Satan in my life through Christ Jesus! Please read my newer note which lists five MORE of Satan’s devices that he uses quite effectively in the believer’s life.